Mayor Ditslear Delivers 2018 ‘State of the City’ Address


State of the CityNoblesville Mayor John Ditslear delivered his annual “State of the City” address to the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce this afternoon at Embassy Suites’ Conference Center.

Ditslear updated the record crowd about the status of the Noblesville NOW Capital Improvement Plan. Announced in July, the plan includes 10 top-priority projects for the city.

* The Levinson, a $24 million dollar mixed-use project in the heart of downtown, will provide commercial space, modern apartments and a parking garage with a minimum of 237 paid parking spaces. It will attract and retain millennials, empty-nesters, high-earning and workforce professionals to downtown. The Levinson will serve as an economic driver and help bring urban density to our square to support our local businesses, restaurants and shops.

* In two short years, the city has aggressively constructed the Midland Trace Trail. This year, phase two extended the trail east to Willowview Road and a trail head was opened along Hazel Dell Road. In 2019, the city will construct phase three and continue the trail to Hague Road. From there, users can access existing trails to downtown.

* The city is preparing to make enhancements on Olio Road from 141st Street to north of 146th Street with four lanes, a roundabout and drainage improvements. With sanitary sewer connections, this project opens up more than 125 acres of area for development.

* Work is proceeding on making east-west travel easier. Currently, the city is converting the intersection of 19th and Pleasant streets into a roundabout. The project is expected to be finished before Thanksgiving.

*The city is working with Hamilton County on a joint project on the Logan Street Bridge. The existing bridge will be rehabilitated and widened. To improve pedestrian access, a path will be added to the south side of the roadway with railing closely matching the River Walk.

Upcoming holiday events also were discussed including the creation of Lights Over Seminary this December. The display, which kicks off on Friday, December 7, is a collaboration between the city and Noblesville Preservation Alliance, Main Street and Nickel Plate Arts.

“Lights Over Seminary is a walkable, holiday lights display in Seminary Park that will focus on history. Vintage decorations used by the city in the past are being restored for display along with a collection of new pieces from local artists that convey or relate to our history,” Ditslear said.

Next summer, the city will construct a roundabout at Field Drive and Cumberland Road using federal funds. Due to a short construction window, the city is adjusting its plans for the annual Fourth of July celebration.

“Those that grew up in Noblesville, or have been here long enough like myself, remember watching the fireworks off the viewing hill at Forest Park. For those of you who have never had that experience, you can in 2019,” said Ditslear. “The Fourth of July Festival and Fireworks are returning to Forest Park.”

Other highlights of the State of the City speech include:

  • The Noblesville Police Department met more than 189 professional standards set by CALEA and its national re-accreditation serves to demonstrate the agency’s on-going commitment to excellence and providing a high quality service to our community. Six percent of Indiana law enforcement agencies are accredited and Noblesville is only one of nine that have national and state accreditation.
  • Through August, the city has seen the number of “part 1” crimes drop by more than half compared to last year. Part 1 crimes include two groups: crimes against person – homicide, rape, robbery and assault; and property crimes – burglary, theft, auto theft and arson.

  • There is construction in every major corridor in Noblesville. State Road 37 and 146th Street have seen retail build out. In 2017, Noblesville added approximately 1,000 new jobs through council-approved projects. Through the first three quarters this year, SMC, Verdure Sciences and Metal Powder Products have invested $77 million and created 187 new jobs.

  • We have heard from the public regarding the announced changes to our holiday festivities. We are in talks with the Hamilton County Historical Society to have them host a Santa House on the Courthouse Square in addition to the city-ran house at Federal Hill Commons.

  • The Noblesville Arts Council is developing one-of-a-kind experiences that can help define our community as a must-see destination and an incredible place to live with its alley activation efforts. The plan involves additional lightning, new amenities and the installation of more public art. We anticipate that this project will take approximately 16 months to complete.

  • 2018 has been a year of firsts in Noblesville. The city was the first in Indiana to subscribe its public safety departments to FirstNet. The Mayor’s Youth Council inducted its inaugural class for the 2018-2019 school year in May. Noblesville opened four Zagster bike sharing locations and in six months, the city has almost 500 active members using 20 bikes.

  • Progress continues on Finch Creek Park. The majority of earthwork is done and work is starting to build some of the amenities. Finch Creek will have phase one open next summer.

  • This year, $250,000 of improvements have been made to city parks. The changes allow for additional safety features, beautification of the parks and routine maintenance.